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Nigerian Students, NANS Knocks Ondo Governor, Akeredolu Over Poor Budgetary Allocation To Education, Unpaid Bursaries, Insecurity On Campuses

December 5, 2022

According to NANS in a statement on Monday, students in Ondo State have been marginalised, bitterly ignored and sidelined from dividends of good governance by the Akeredolu led government.

The Ondo State chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to improve budgetary allocation to education.

According to NANS in a statement on Monday, students in Ondo State have been marginalised, bitterly ignored and sidelined from dividends of good governance by the Akeredolu led government.

The statement was signed by Ondo NANS Chairman, Omotoso Surprise Oluwaferanmi; General Secretary, Akinola Elijah Temitope; Public Relations Officer, Ogunjimi Tolulope James and the Students’ Union Presidents of all tertiary institutions in the state.

The students accused Akeredolu of failing to provide infrastructural development in any of the state-owned tertiary institutions.

The statement read, “The need for this open letter was borne out of the plight and sufferings of Nigerian students in Ondo State. Nigerian students in Ondo State have been painfully marginalised, bitterly ignored and sidelined from governance and the dividends of good governance which has in turn invited untold hardship upon the students and severed the relationship between the students and the Ondo State Government.

“The level of neglect the entire students community has received from the Akeredolu-led government is sardonic, shambolic and painful because, we believe that Nigerian students deserves no such punishment from the present day government of Ondo State.

“The current administration of Gov. Rotimi Odunayo Akeredolu has created a huge gap between the students and the government due to a total neglect of the students constituency. The inability of Ondo State Government to provide infrastructural development in the State tertiary institutions has totally severed the relationship between the students and the Governor, Akeredolu Rotimi. The students fear the Governor might have little passion for the future of the State and the country at large.

“Over the years, the education budget of the State is in all time low as a result of lack of funding for the education sector. The level of insecurity of lives and properties of the students around the campus and its environs has been disheartening and at a high level. Nigerian students now study in fear amidst the rushed, packed education calendar due to the just suspended 8months industrial strike of ASUU.

“Ever since assumption into office, the government of the day has not deemed it fit to project quality tertiary education as the education budget has been lowered to an all time minimum. This has led to the gradual decay of tertiary education in Ondo.

“The only tertiary institution in the southern part of the State has been degraded to ruins and rot. Whilst Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, a State-owned institution has been dealing with issues ranging from congestion of lecture rooms, no lecture theatre, no residential hostel, no sports facility, no electricity, poor state of electricity amongst other issues which has engulfed the development of the institution.

“From time immemorial, it has been a tradition  across all States in the Federation for past students' union leaders to be gainfully employed by the government of the day, this practice is still performed by present day states and the F.C.T which promotes partisan involvements amongst the students but pitifully, reverse has been the case for years counting now. This, in no small measure, has damaged the leadership spirit amongst students' leaders.

“Amidst these challenges faced on a daily basis, the Executive Governor of Ondo State has not deemed it fit to meet with the student's community through her leaders to understand and alleviate the plight affecting Nigerian students in the sunshine State.

“The immobility of the students' unions of institutions in the State has hindered prompt response to students distress calls both in towns and campuses by the leadership of the Unions.

“After exhausting the first  C (consultation) in the Aluta struggle which has now failed, we are currently on the second C (consolidation) and would not hesitate to execute the last C (confrontation) if there are no productive responses and our demands met which is the essence of this open letter to call the attention of the Governor to many irregularities going on and seek for a remedy.

“It is our utmost belief that this crisis would have been addressed and put to rest if there were to be the office of "Special Assistant on Students' Matters to the Governor" as against Special Assistant on Youth and Sports. The Students' community is a critical wheel which needs proper and adequate attention that could be actualised through the office of the SA on Students' Matters.”